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Marine Corps Taps NREL to Help Replace Aging Steam Plant with Efficient Biomass Cogeneration

January 30, 2013

The 1940s central steam plant at the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot (MCRD) on Parris Island, seven miles south of Beaufort, South Carolina, has far exceeded its projected life and is no longer cost-effective to operate. MCRD staff tasked NREL to help replace this artifact with an efficient biomass cogeneration facility. NREL will assess needs and help develop a request for proposal for designing and constructing the new facility. 

After the initial site review, the NREL assessment team will:

  • Verify existing resources and biomass costs
  • Optimize facility size and location
  • Model the entire system and generate a process flow diagram
  • Estimate costs and create an economic evaluation
  • Analyze environmental and regulatory issues
  • Assess the viability of pursuing a waste-to-energy facility.

In addition to bringing about a more efficient power generation system, this project will help MCRD meet the federal energy requirements of implementing renewable energy technologies. Other benefits include supporting forest health activities on Parris Island and in surrounding areas, reducing overall emissions by using efficient air pollution control equipment, and providing sustainable living wage jobs.

Learn more about NREL’s work with the U.S. Department of Defense to implement alternative energy technologies.

—Devin Egan